Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Job Answers Job 16

Job 16 1-4 "Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall van words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do; if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. v5 But I would strength you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should assuage your grief."

assuage: make grief less, lighten, mitigate, ease alleviate

I noticed that Job does not attack his oppressor personally by pointing out past sins, instead he addresses the immediate situation. Job says that if the situation were reversed that he could also use hurtful words but would not, instead he would try to ease the grief of his friend.

Job goes on to say that whether he is silent or whether he speaks, he has no relief for his grief. Job's words were thrown back at him in previous chapters. Now, he accepts what he believes to be true that God has left him to destruction.

v14 "He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a giant."

One thing after another has come upon me, Job says. He can no sooner get adjusted to one agony before another hits him. Remember it is Satan that is putting Job through these agonies. He operates under the permissive will of God but the tactics are his own. He is trying to break Job.

v19 "Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high."

Job has done his best in his life to honor God. He now stands on that record. He accepts that what he has done is done and is willing to face what ever judgment is there. It is not what people think, but what is written down in God's records.

Job's testing time is a good example of what Satan would do to all of us if God took his protective hand from us. Satan shows people a pretty picture but he is evil and will use up a person then abandon them to live out their life in a wrecked body with a wrecked life. Satan is a friend of nobody.

v22 "When a few years are come then I shall go the way whence I shall not return."

Job not only accepts death but embraces it as his relief from suffering. Some would call that dying grace. I agree.

Psalm 39:7 "And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee."

Job speaks of death.

Previous post

Monday, May 18, 2009

Eliphaz Speaks Again Job 15

Job 15:2 "Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?"

Eliphaz could have well asked himself the same question. All together he launched into a series of questions, 16 in all, plus one included in a statement. I don't know about people who always ask a question in response to a question. Perhaps, we are all looking for answers.

Eliphaz is quick to condemn Job but does not mention his own shortfalls.

v6 "Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I; yea, thine own lips testify against thee."

Forgotten is the trip to come see Job and comfort him in his distress. It has become a battle of words and debate over wisdom and who possesses the most. We could call it a sad scene.

Eliphaz does give some insight into the longevity of the people back then and the time frame this story fits into.

v10 "With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father."

The verse speaks of long life. It tells us that Job's father may still be alive but that some of the people with Eliphaz are even older than he. Another verse hints at this:

v18&19 "Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it: Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them."

This seems to tell me that the wise men spoken of b Eliphaz received their wisdom from men who got it from the beginning and that they all knew each other (no stranger passed among them). It would have been quite a time to live when everyone knew each other and live hundreds of years and the earth was yet young.

Eliphaz continues with the general theme of all the 'friends' that bad things only come on the wicked.

v20 "The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor."

v21 "A dreadful sound is in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him."

If Job was not depressed, he surely must be now after hearing all that.

Eliphaz must not let us forget the hypocrites: v34&35 "For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery, They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity and their belly prepareth deceit."

We probably could call this the "They brought it on themselves." chapter. I have often heard it in church circles. Some people believe that everyone who has lung cancer was a heavy smoker. It is possible that the environment or place of work caused the illness. There are a lot of dangerous chemicals around, at work and at home. Other health problems are not always caused by what appears to be. We should be careful not to judge but instead show compassion.

Jesus is our example. He did not jump on the woman at the well but instead offered her eternal life. He did not ask if the boy was a good boy before he died but instead had compassion. We ought to 'take the high road' when dealing with the sick and downtrodden, it may be us next time.

Jude 22 "And of some have compassion, making a difference."

Eliphaz speaks again.

Previous post

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Man...A Few Days Job 14

Job 14:1 "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble."

Chapter 14 is becoming one of my favorites. Job talks of the limitations of man's life on earth but he also speaks of the resurrection. I believe the best is yet to come for us after we are raised from the dead. It is hard to get depressed when you know you will live forever but for a small pause in the grave.

v5 "See his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass:"

The Bible says: Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment:"

Job asked the question: v14 "If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come."

Job knew after his troubles and even if he died, there was hope beyond the grave.

v15 "Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands."

Job here expresses the love he knows God has for him. Job said God would remember him and desire to see him, the work of his own hands.

He then goes into the time frame which seems a long time, the water wearing away the stones, the mountain falling. He also speaks of being in the grave while his sons have success in life but he does not know of it. It is a touching expression of his thoughts.

Song of Solomon 2:8"The voice of my beloved: behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills."

Job speaks of death, old age, and the resurrection.

Previous post

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Job continues Job 13

Job 13: 1-3 "Lo, mine eye hath seen all this, mine ear hath heard and understood it, What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you. Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God."

Job is still talking to his friends. He is not saying that he knows what God knows. He is still talking to his friends but he says he would like to talk with God and reason with him.

I guess we would all like to know 'why' sometimes.

Now he tells his friends he is tired of listening to them.

v5 "O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom."

Sounds to me like our phrase 'The smartest thing you could do is not talk."

Later in the chapter we have one of the most famous verses in the Bible: v15 "Though he slay me, yet will I thrust in him:" The rest of the verse is lesser known: "but I will maintain mine own ways before him." At first, I thought that was a stubborn statement but I thing he was saying that he would continue to be himself before God and not pretend to be something he was not.

Then he says if he does not speak he will die. As in, I just got to talk about it. v19 "Who is he that will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost."

So Job wants to talk to God but he asked two things, sort of the conditions of meeting together. We have read how Job understands the awesomeness of God and the feebleness of man but he still wants to talk to God. Remember when Moses talked to God on the mount and it was in a dark cloud and the mountain smoked.

The two things were that God would not withdraw his hand far from him and that he would not make him afraid while they talked.

v20-21 "Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee. Withdraw thine hand far from me; and let not thy dread make me afraid."

I think here of Jesus becoming flesh and making it easy for man to approach. He often said 'Be not afraid'.

v22 "Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou me."

Much of this reasoning is to prepare Job for the conversation he had with God at the end of the book of Job.

Psalm 25:7 "Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for thy have been ever of old. v7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD."

Job continues.

Previous post.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Job Replies Job 12

Job 12:1-2 "And Job answered and said, No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. v3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?"

Job is tormented in body and spirit, but perhaps the most irritating are the words of his friends. In the next few chapters Job strikes back. He at first is a little out of line when he boost of his own wisdom but it seems his purpose is to show his friends that the words they speak can be found out by anyone.

v7 "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach tee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. v8 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?" v9

Perhaps the Apostle Paul had read those words and had them in mind when he penned Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse;"

Job again tells of the awesome power of God and how he is in control. He controls the oceans and the speech of men. He controls kings and princes. He sets up nations or removes them.

v24 "He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way."

Job will continue his reply in the next chapters.

Genesis 1:31 "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

Job replies.

Previous post

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Zophar Speaks Job 11

Job 11:1-2 "Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified?"

Zophar says some true things but he is accusatory in his manner. He is like the prosecuting attorney beating the defenseless with the law, although the law of Moses was not yet written. It reminds me of how Satan used the scripture to try to trap Jesus when He was tested.

v3 "Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?"

Zophar is wishing that God would come down on Job and straighten him out. I think it is a dangerous thing to presume to speak for God outside that which is written in the scripture.

v5 "But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; v6 And that he would show thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth."

That is true of all of us. We all get less punishment than we deserve for we are all together sinful without the grace of God to cover our sin.

v7 "Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?"

From there Zophar goes into a comparison of man and God which is what Job said earlier. Zophar is still saying that all this came upon Job because of some sin that he will not admit to.

v14 "If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles."

Judgment belongs to God alone. I do not think Zophar can make the decision about what God will do in Job's situation. It seems to me that these speeches are more about competing for the best showing of wisdom instead of helping a friend.

You know people go to God for all sorts of reasons. I've seen people go to the altar in church and some would think that they had some secret sin. Going to God should not raise any one's eyebrows at a person. He is there to forgive sin, but also to bear our burdens and answer prayer. Everyone should feel at ease going to the altar where ever it is, in church or alone someplace. Jesus purchased that privilege for his children that we could 'come boldly to the throne of grace'.

Job will answer in the next chapter. Showing that it takes no special wisdom to know that God is Almighty.

Psalm 79:13 "So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks forever; we will show forth thy praise to all generations." See also Isa. 43:21.

Zophar speaks.

Previous post.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Job Prays Job 10

Job 10:1 "My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. v2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; show me wherefore thou contendest with me."

Job goes through several stages in his verbal expression of what is going on in his mind and heart. In previous chapters, he has said he would not speak or that it was useless, seeing the vast difference between man and God. At least, that is what I picked up. Now he says he will speak but he seems to be in a demanding mood with God and we know that will not work. Yet even then Job recognizes that he is the creation and that God is the creator.

v9-12 "Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favor, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit."

As Job prays, it seems he is given some light concerning his situation. Then he goes on to lament that it would have been better if he had not been born.

v19 "I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave."

We must remember that Job is tormented in his body, that he has lost his children and his property. It seems his friends are not who he thought them to be, for they assume right off that Job must be sinful to have received such punishment. The answers are further on.

Proverbs 14:10 "The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy."

Job prays.

Previous post.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Job Replies Job 9

Job 9:2 "I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?"

Bildad has just finished his speech in chapter 8. Now Job replies and doesn't disagree will Bildad but goes on to compare the feebleness of man compared to God.

v4 "He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength; who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?"

There is a good question. Men and women are often heard these days questioning the wisdom of God or even denying his existence. In the end, it is each of us who will stand before him to answer for our life. For all the hardness of heart, it is feeble effort if ones purpose is to thwart the workings of God. He is the maker of everything and like the potter, he can do with the clay as he pleases.

v7-8 "Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not, and sealeth up the stars, Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea."

Luke 8:24 "And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm."

Matthew 14:25 "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea."

Job has reached the point where he feels so insignificant that he thinks God will not talk to him and that even if he did, he could not plead his case. Remember Job is unaware of the meeting in Heaven and the challenge given Satan by God. He only knows he is suffering and that there seems no one to help.

v16 "If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice."

At the same time Job is magnifying God, he is admitting despair over the whole situation. Haven't we all been there?

v22 "This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked."

Luke 13:2-3 "And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

Job starts off answering Bildad but ends up praying in the last verses of the chapter.

v27 "If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself: v28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent."

v30 If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me." v31

Job speaks to the futility of man in trying to cleanse himself of unrighteousness. Even if one tries to change his ways, it is only a temporary thing. Without a change of heart by God, we are still prone to do wrong.

Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one." v23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;"

Job eludes to not having one to speak for him in verse 33. He sees the problem. If he is sinful and anything he says will make him even more guilty, he is better off not to speak at all. Yet if there one to speak for him, his case might be pleaded without further incrimination. But he say no one like that.

v33 "Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both."

The gap between a perfect God and sinful man was bridged when Jesus sacrificed himself for sinful man. He bore the penalty of sin so that man could again approach God. God does not see our sin but sees the blood of Jesus which was shed for our sins.

These things are written so that we might see the complete picture. All through the Old Testament, we see the nature of man which is to sin, and the nature of God which is perfect. We see a plan unfolding which will again bring man back into favor with God.

Romans 3:25 "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare righteousness for remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God, v26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

Job will continue in the next chapter then we will hear from his other friend.

Job replies to Bildad.

Previous psot.